Reversible Nautical Inspired Modern Pillow

This project is brought to you today by guest blogger Felicity of Crafty Modern.

Cricut cartridge Life’s a Beach 1. Mermaid shape 2. Anchor Shape
One 15″ X 15″ polka-dot fabric in larger dots (but not super large)
One 15″ X 15″ leafy fabric that simulates sea weed (and in a color that compliments your polka dot 15×15)
One 12″ X 12″ piece of navy blue polka dot fabric (to cut out your anchor)
One 10″ x “10” piece of fabric to cut out your mermaid body
One 5″ X 5″ piece of fabric that will look good as a mermaid’s tale
One 6″ x 6″ piece of fabric to use as hair for mermaid
Two colors of embroidery thread (one color for eyes other for mouth, your preference)
One embroidery Needle
One 12″ x 12″ piece of Heat n Bond Ultra (to cut the anchor out with the cricut machine)
Spool of thread in contrasting color that compliments piece (I used a nice light turquoise blue for the whole pillow)
1 14″ X 14″ pillow form
Blue water wash away fabric pen
NOTE: All the fabric should be 100% cotton
1. First I cut out all my fabric – this is a great project to do with small scraps left over from larger projects, especially since you use different fabric for every piece on the pillow.
2. Next I ironed on my Heat n Bond Ultra to my 12″ X 12″ navy polka dot fabric square – please make sure to follow the directions on the Heat n Bond package.
3. Then I took my 12″ x 12″ navy blue polka dot piece to the Cricut machine. I peeled the backing off my piece of fabric and laid it on the 12″ X 12″ Cricut mat (make sure you mat is super sticky, this project doesn’t work well on an older mat). Then I really ran my hands over the fabric to make sure there weren’t air bubbles and that the fabric was really stuck on the mat.
4. I’m using the Life’s a Beach Cart. I chose the anchor and chose Real Size 8 3/4″ for my cut. The machine is set on deepest blade cut (6), slowest speed, and highest pressure. Then I loaded the fabric and let it cut.
5. Once the anchor was cut, I set that aside to work on cutting my mermaid pattern. The mermaid is a little more complex so I chose to cut her from card stock and then trace her with a fabric pen on to my light blue fabric. The mermaid was cut at 8 3/4″ Real Size.
6. After cutting and tracing my mermaid body, I needed hair and a tail. For the tail, I traced just the lower half of her body on to my fin fabric. For the hair I carefully cut the hair from her paper body and used that to trace, as well. Finally, I drew eyes and a mouth on the mermaid with a fabric pen.
7. Before embroidering the mermaid’s face I pinned the hair and tail to her blue body, took it to the sewing machine and stitched just the inside of her hairline to her face and her tail (at the waist) to her body. Then using DMC embroidery thread, just two of six strands, I split stitch her eyes in white and her mouth in a light blue.
8. Now back to the anchor, which I ironed on to my white polka-dot fabric and then took to the sewing machine. I used a basic zig zag applique stitch to go all around the anchor.
7. The mermaid was a little trickier. She was pinned on to the sea-weed fabric and then slowly again, I zig zag applique stitched all round her. I also took a little extra time and did some straight stitches on her hair just to add a little more dimension (you can draw these on with a fabric transfer pen, and then follow over with the sewing machine).
8. Before going forward, I stopped and with a damp cloth removed all my fabric pen lines and then let the piece dry for a few minutes. Finally it was time to sew the pillow together.
9. To sew the pillow together turned the two pieces inside out (and make sure they are both in the same up and down direction). Then I stitched about an inch seem all the way around three edges, leaving the bottom unsewn.
10. I placed my pillow form inside the pillow case, folded in the bottom fabric/seem, pinned it, then did a straight stitch all the way down the bottom. For embellishment, I went back over this straight stitch (I like things strong) with a zig zag stitch (I’ve done this in the past with other pretty embroidery stitches on my machine as well).
11. Finally, a lovely pillow.
Recommendations: 1. When cutting shapes directly out of fabric with the Cricut just do silhouettes, the shapes with a lot of intricate internal cuts can be hard on the machine and really don’t work well 2. Make sure your mat is super sticky 3. Have a good newer blade in the machine 4. For more complex shapes cut them from strong card stock and then trace on to your fabric with a water removable fabric pen, this works great and there are thousands and thousands of shapes to choose from with your Cricut system, which means unending sewing possibilities at your fingertips 5. Try this with outdoor fabrics (but hand cut these, not with the machine), maybe you can make yourself some real beach or pool pillows.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nanci
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 16:30:39

    love this idea. I’m going to try this for my sisters pool.


  2. Dawn Lampman
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 17:51:25

    very cute pillows , I like the anchor
    Dawn RI


  3. Hope Symes
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 20:03:57

    These are so cute! I might have to try to make a few, with different designs, for my son’s bed!


  4. Aman
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 00:54:20

    Very cute pillows!

    amanbains1 at gmail dot com


  5. Ola Jaggers
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 02:29:53

    Gorgeous….. my husband really loves these!

    Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    okj83 at live dot com


  6. LizWest
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 02:43:27

    What a cute mermaid pillow! My grand-daughter loves Ariel and I think this pillow would fit the bill! Thanks!
    LizW in TX


  7. Carol Coleman
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 03:43:30

    Cute! I like the fact that this site take these cartridges way beyond scrapbooking and card making and into textiles and more.
    Mahalo for sharing.

    Carol Coleman


  8. SherriC.
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 08:32:51

    this is a Fabulous idea!!!!!!!
    thank you so much for sharing this !!!!!!!!


  9. love2getcrafty
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 14:57:40

    Cute! I love the anchor!!!


  10. eva
    Jun 23, 2011 @ 10:47:15

    I really love this !! This is just too fabulous!! <33


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